Sunday, September 17, 2023

Netanyahu: Iran is violating all of its nuclear commitments

Iran is "violating all of its commitments" in its pursuit of nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged on Saturday evening through the Prime Minister's Office, after it was revealed the Islamic Republic had banned a third of IAEA inspectors assigned to it, hindering its oversight of Tehran's atomic activities.

"Israel is not surprised by Iran's moves, which prove it is continuing to violate all of its commitments to the international community," the PMO statement read.

UN nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi on Saturday condemned Iran's "disproportionate and unprecedented" move to bar multiple inspectors assigned to the country.

Iran's move is a response to a call led by the United States, Britain, France and Germany at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors this week for Tehran to cooperate immediately with the IAEA on issues including explaining uranium traces found at undeclared sites.

Grossi made clear, however, that he believed Iran had overreacted.

"I strongly condemn this disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure which affects the normal planning and conduct of agency verification activities in Iran and openly contradicts the cooperation that should exist between the agency and Iran," he said in a statement.

Are Iran's actions legal?

Iran's move, known as "de-designation" of inspectors, is allowed; member states can generally veto inspectors assigned to visit their nuclear facilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and each country's safeguards agreement with the agency governing inspections.

But the IAEA said Tehran's decision went beyond normal practice. It said Iran had told it that it would bar "several" inspectors, without giving a number. READ MORE